QUICK ANALYSIS: Copper Queens Qualification Is A Joy; Our Technical Frailties Remain A Cause For Concern

Now that we celebrate our back to back qualification to the Olympics, our mission is no longer to go and learn but compete.

And if we are to compete, we must match the technical, tactical and organizational skills of those team we face such as the USA, Germany, Australia & others.

In doing so, we must review our strengths and weaknesses. And one of our major strengths in the team is the strikeforce.

We have some of the most exceptional players in Barbara Banda and Rachel Kundananji upfront. What remains is how we get the best pout of them on any given day. Questions like what happens if they are out marked are key in this case.

A good tactician will know how to shuffle Kundananji and Barbara so the team can still get the best out of their prowess even on their worst day.

The goalkeeping department should now not be a cause to worry. With Hazel Nali and Catherine Musonda set to return, it is reassuring that Ngambo Musole has stepped back into the fore.

I personally think Chitete Munsaka and Leticia Lungu (if recovered from the women’s clinic issue) and Agnes Fabiola Banda should in the interim make-up for the fulcrum of that department for the forceable future.

Our defense is lacking. No doubt Martha Tembo and Lushomo Mweemba are experienced defenders. And Pauline Zulu has come to the party taking over from Agnes Musesa pretty well. Pauline’s workrate is immense. She really helped cover Esther last night night.

There was that Margret Belemu dynamism absent at the back. Rather than keep Esther Siamfuko on the flanks, we can throw her, perhaps, in central defence or transform her calming effect into a strong anchorwoman. If there’s something the team is lacking is a proper number 6.

And that exposed us last night. Morocco could string passes and split us because our anchorwoman and number eight were ineffective. The midfield was virtually dead.

How one would wait for 70 minutes to make a substitution really baffled me. Anyway, we still won and qualified. That’s what is important for now.

Yet, we must admit that our midfield was at sea. And our technical staff must see this. You can forgive Grace Chanda; she’s been absent for over six months and her fitness levels showed.

Irene Lungu is not the same industrious player we saw at WAFCON 2023. Rachel Nachula should be aided into retirement. I am yet to be convinced about Prisca Chilufya. She has the stamina, but needs more work.

But wherever Evarine Katongo is, she remains an asset to the team. Please take care of her for us and don’t expose her to danger.

That said, the technical bench of Bruce Mwape must be reinforced, not with a briefcase technical director.

The bench needs more video analysts (at least two), not a shushu from OP or a so called team security officer making the players extremely uncomfortable. In addition to video analysts, we need a professional nutritionist, a psychologist, an occupational therapist and a fitness trainer.

There should be a woman of high morals added to the team as mentor. And this should make part of our organizational contribution to the team.

In the aftermath of Copper Queens Paris 2024 Olympics qualification, below is one text I have enjoyed reading from one of those think-tanks. It reads:-

“The road to Paris wasn’t paved with roses. Zambia’s midfield initially struggled to control the game but Musole’s fire wall was just unpenetrable by the ‘virus shots’ at.

[Augustine Mukoka]

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